Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? This is the most poignant line in Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day. After two years of being isolated and quarantining, I am ready to spread my wings and explore in a way I have never done before. The pandemic has taught me that life is indeed precious, and I’m in no mood to play it safe anymore. It is time to reconnect with my inner wild child.
We’ve all been struggling in exhausting ways due to the negative aspects of the pandemic. But there were some positive aspects too, such as prioritizing what is really important to us. I realize most of the remarkable moments I’ve experienced these few years had to do with connecting to nature in a consistent way. The moments that stand out include kayaking with loons on an Adirondack lake, hiking in search of a bald eagle’s nest, witnessing caterpillars morph into butterflies in my living room before releasing them to the world, going on owl prowls during nights of the full moon, listening to a pack of coyotes howl outside my bedroom window, watching sunsets on the Hudson River, learning to identify different bird calls, heading outside with the intention to find an indigo bunting, and then actually seeing that particular blue bird for the first time in my life.
I’ve made a list of what I plan to do in the near future with my one wild and precious life. I love making lists because I find that when I write things down, it’s like making a contract with my soul. I am agreeing to commit to these actions and ideas that I document on paper. Then I sign it with hope and love.
Experience the northern lights in Scandinavia
Eat sachertorte cake in Vienna (again)
Visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam
Walk through the halls of Salamanca University in Spain where my uncle studied
Roller skate to 1980s dance music
Take a ukulele workshop in Hawaii
Write a screenplay
Publish my new memoir
Record and perform all the songs I’ve been writing the past two years
Find new birds I’ve never seen before in destinations like Costa Rica
Watch more sunsets
Now it’s your turn. Make a list of all the things you’ve always wanted to do. And don’t wait. Just go and do them. Stop making excuses. There is no tomorrow. The only thing that exists is the present moment. Now is the time to live and explore and discover and learn and love. This is your one wild and precious life!